BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Police Department is implementing new procedures when it comes to arresting parents in the presence of their children. On Thursday, the department announced its partnership with the Osborn Association. An organization dedicated to creating opportunities for people impacted by the criminal justice system.
“Osborn had been working, for several decades, with children of incarcerated parents," senior advisor of the Osborne Association Denise O'Donnell said. "And really observed that over those years, one of the most trauma inducing factors in the lives of children with incarcerated parents is being present when their parents were arrested.”
So Osborn Association approached Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and the Buffalo Police about a safeguard project to help protect the children of arrested parents.
“We have talked a lot about police reform. We see this as a major police reform,” buffalo mayor Byron Brown said.
Beginning this summer, all Buffalo police officers will partake in a 5-hour training program to learn how to adequately handle this type of situation. In their training they will learn things like situational awareness and implement new practices like arresting parents outside the presence of their children.
Buffalo police officers will also be responsible for making sure childcare arrangements are made for those children.
“So this program is important because it is going to build a better relationship with the children. If we can do that early on, we can have a better relationship and a better outlook throughout our policing career,” Deputy Police Commissioner Barbara Lark said.
Once officers are trained on how to safeguard children in these situations, they will begin documenting how many arrests happen in the presence of children. Right now, there is no official data.
AT&T contributed to funding the program in an effort to help those in Buffalo.
“AT&T is proud to collaborate with the Osborne Association to implement this innovative community-focused training program with the Buffalo Police Department and we applaud all of the partners involved for working together to help strengthen our community,” said Amy Kramer, President, AT&T New York. “This contribution is part of AT&T’s effort to address societal needs, racial inequities, and social justice by supporting organizations that are making meaningful and equitable change in communities across our state and our nation.”